why should govt act to ensure political freedom?

a straits times forumer, teoh chin leong, asked this question after commenting on catherine lim's article on political freedom. he said catherine lim has not answered this question? i was taken aback by his question. did he mean that limited freedom is accepted and the people must give good reasons for the govt to allow political freedom? isn't political freedom the people's basic right and any govt curbing political freedom is taking away the right of the people? is this the mindset of singaporeans? so well bred to be obedient, to be restrained. even accepting that they should be limited political freedom when freedom was theirs in the first place. such mindset concedes that it is ok for one's political right to be taken away. teoh chin leong did discuss a little on the need for political freedom. but his conclusion is that singaporeans are not ready for political freedom, that political freedom must be conditional on an educated society and a people who can discussed dispassionately on political issues. i am very sad to think that educated singaporeans think this way. how many countries can boast of a literacy rate higher than us? how many countries can boast of a concentration of people with tertiary education like us? if we are not an educated society, who is? the sheep will be led to the slaughter. and all they can say is bah bah and bah.


Matilah_Singapura said...

Motherfuckers. They can't get past the conditioning of their 2 main social constructs: to be obediant to the state and compliant with govt edicts.

It is not political freedom which is needed. It is INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM

That shit in their heads is all a damn illusion. And the torment is just a signal that perhaps it is "The WRONG View".

redbean said...

haha matilah, this kind of mentality really upset you. it just screams at you but they would not know. the drunkard would never know that he is drunk.

they all believe that they are free. but this guy is exceptional. he believes that he is not free and accepts that he is not ready to be free.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Actually the test of a really free society is the tolerance of all sorts of characters - mad, cuckoo, bigoted, angy, depressed, suicidal... and occasionally the rational, happy and healthy ones. :-)

What is the second nobel truth - the one about "clinging"?

Hang ups. Thats what people need more of - Hang Ups!

Let's have more hangups - identity crisis, fuel crisis, govt crisis, crisis, crises, crises... and get totally hung up, stressed out and in a permanent state of complete anxiety.


redbean said...

if you have been observant, many of the ministers and mps got their head all white after a few years in office.

as for freedom of views, i just had an exchange with this guy layman in ypap. there are several chaps there that cannot accept other people's views and demanded that others listen to them and their views as the only accepted view.

Speedwing said...

Hi Redbean and Matilah,

First let me say this, I enjoy the discussion here on this blog, but I am a little uncomfortable about the language use sometimes. Having said that, it is after all your blog Redbean and it is really up to you to regulate.

I think we are all entitled to our own opinion regarding political freedom. If some Singaporeans still think that your society is not ready for political freedom, then so be it. Maybe there are some truth in that. After so many years of one party rule and being known as a nanny state, maybe it is true that Singaporeans are not ready to have political freedom. One must ask, " Do Singaporeans really need to be politically free??" If not, why have it??

Elfred said...

Nay... Actually what we need to ensure is a political reform.

I don't know whether you guys realise it or not... As Singapore approaches 50yo, it is already long due for a political reform.

Reform on what... That's for people to guess and for me to know.

The oppositions ever have such a chance in the future is really because PAP has missed the best chance for a reform.

Political freedom shouldn't be taken likely. But in such times when political understanding is so chaotic... I guess it's better to have more freedom when a good referee isn't available.

Just my 2cts. I'd argue this even in face of the senior stateman. This government is for the past, not belonging to the future.

redbean said...


reform is such a huge word. there are many things and areas to reform. but most important is the political system and culture. it needs to be more conducive to encourage genuine and decent people to come forward to contest under different parties.

by making it the way it is, either one gets coopt, or those who enters politics are those who feel they have nothing to lose. this is very unhealthy. we need good people to go into politics without fearing that they have a lot to lose. then only we can have a bunch of decent and respectable people coming forward voluntarily to serve.

redbean said...

elfred, i am still thinking of how to answer to you. you have a tendency to say a lot of things which you understand but others have to figure out because of the blanks in between.

redbean said...


matilah is still very young at heart. it is the fire inside him, or the beast inside him. he will have his periodical outburst. once his period is over he will be very nice. he adds a little colour to the discussion.

once your regard him as a friend you will get to like him more. he meant no offence. a little provocation or expletive once a while, well, can turn an otherwise dull afternoon into a thunderstorm. wakes everyone up.

sometimes i intentionally use strong words or arguments to create a little impact. i hope you will enjoy posting here. i am sure matilah too enjoy your company.

now where is that beast? he thrives in the wilderness.

Matilah_Singapura said...

The "beast" is enjoying the great Aussie summer :-)

Words are just symbols. They are not the "experience". However they can be used to create experience ;-)

redbean said...

ya, you in the warmth of oz and speedwing back to the cold of uk. one hot and old cold. in two different corners but still in the same place.

wonderful world.

Elfred said...

Emm... Actually it's not a tendency. You see, those who can catch up will easily catch up.

My previous boss was sometimes very... harsh claiming that I can't make it in one or two months in export and import thingy... but even experts told me this field always change and it's impossible for a nobody totally clueless to catch up as he expects.

While on the other hand, he totally can't catch up with politics either. :D


OK, reform is not really a big word. Not really for the likes as myself. After all if one is really a political thinker apt enough for a national development, a reform (especially one which is long overdue) shouldn't be as hard to understand.

Which is probably why should you or your friends are intending to enter politics, keep me in touch. I might be a good partner, especially if you wanna take GRCs. :D

(to be cont.)

Elfred said...

You can't put these two things for needing people:

1. People who walk the walk;
2. People who don't mind having things to lose...

One fine day when the likes of such people who are totally inapt for politics enter politics, you'd understand... :D

I consider it very barbaric to view politics as something as an onslaught. It is, ironically, to prevent and/or stop such crazy mentality that I hope people can consider joining me if they wanna enter politics.

It's time for upgrading for Singapore. Hopefully the hot blooded youths and such will grow to understand what I am at least trying to brough across.

redbean said...

there is a time and place for everything. this election is a very intense one for pap as they would want hsien loong to look very good.

but it is good that you are looking at it.

Elfred said...

I was posting something about journalist who was with Streats and guess what, all the blog posting gone in about half hour!?

What intense election? It's most probably an everlasting chit chat session that MM once reportedly lamented of parliament which talked on anything but critical ones.


Frustrated with the situation in Singapore. It is so horrible~!

What can election do? It's just a chance to send in more funny funny things in to create more funny funny things. I can't stand it! Now even my Blog got affected.

Elfred said...

Really sick with this environment. We must do something somehow. Nor can we rely on MM reverse the craps, nor (it so seems) can we wait for MM to pass away.

We have to do something before we end up another Malaysia in Mahathir's time. The only way jerks can get everywhere is via cronism.

Frustrated. Evil...

Very much doubt this PM can do much... Look Reddie and whomever are here, it's up to us to do something. Things are definitely NOT looking good, ok.

redbean said...


it all depends on which corner you are sitting and taking your view. if my income is in the hunddreds of thousands or millions, everything is fine. perfect actually.

things are never better. that is why the hungry will have more reasons to fight.

Elfred said...

Fighting to be full is a really lousy political thinking. Actually the point is you cannot cease fighting beyond that or even to fight for what's beyond... cos that'd end up either you stop and fight against the poor when you are full, or you go on and become corrupted.

Which is why wealth should never drive a nation, but a nation shall create wealth. Simple words, but it isn't that simple as the words suggest.

Just now, the minister was lao-ing Yu-sheng. There was a mentioning to build a better nation...

Well, I very much doubt this is possible. For a start, what political requirement would this comprise?

Umm... It is just a regret, because if Mr Ong were to be alive, he'd have stayed in PAP and directed as much teeth as possible for real effect. With people as him around, there shalt be hope.

Now, even NTUC (a union) has cock brains trying to get it listed. This is so political adverse and what are we showing the world?

I kinda feel more sorry nowadays for the formal president's early departure from this world. Which also means people like us would be quite idle till the next leader emerge. Which is why I hope you think seriously of what I mentioned.

If such leader does not come by, hindered probably by in PAP such bureacratic environment, a downfall is imminent, we'd have no choice but to enter the fray.

Reddie, do you understand?

redbean said...


i fully understand. teng cheong is a good man. a big waste to the nation. and our nation is going to waste. along the way things started to get side tracked and we are heading, yes, towards destruction.

things are done not as objectively as before. or maybe still objective but with somewhat wrong objectives. some of the priorities are, to me, very wrong.

when people can walk around with $1 mil salary from the public money while the masses are trying so hard to make ends meet, and they still feel so happy and comfortable about it, then to me the rot has set it.

Elfred said...

It doesn't matter if they walk around with millions salary or billions or even $1... it's whether they are good component of governance or not.

I am not saying I am supportive of such salary concern for all occassions.

redbean said...

no matter how good, there is always a measure of equitable. but this varies from individual to individual. the individual who is perceiving and the individual who is receiving.

problems only arise when things become too obvious. otherwise it is grey.

Elfred said...

It has always been grey, Reddie. At least for politics... if not black, ie.

The government calls for so many things... so I am outspoken in support of its ministerial call to speak out; so even if I join SPP it's to support Mr Lim Swee Say's call to participate in politics even if it's opposition; so if I ask to be out of Singapore, it's to support MM's call that education should make people more mobile globally... whether to come back or not, that's something else.

Hahahaha... You know, though politics yields nothing but trouble to me, it's still my favorite. :D BTW, my favorite color is not grey.

redbean said...


agree. when you put the frog to boil. 30 to 40 degrees or 50 degrees, not much of a difference. still grey. to 60 or 70 degrees, the grey becomes not so grey.

when you compare 30 to 90 degrees, it is very clear that it is not right any more.

the gradual erosion of standards or what is seen as right of wrong can go very wrong after some time.
when grey becomes is no longer grey.

Elfred said...

In politics, it's either you are black, or the most you go is grey.

When I first saw the PAP-ians in white, I chuckled. I was very small then, but I understand that it is very hard for angel to exist among individuals, and hence harder as a group.

As a matter of fact, which is a need to blow up and test which is which among the messier and messier grey-black order.

This applies to all political entities in the world, not excluding local oppositions.

Help only the great man... not the petty skunks.

redbean said...

that is why it is better for you to join pap than wp or spp or sdp.

redbean said...


when you are angry you spout wisdom.

Elfred said...

Nope... When one day I were to be in parliament, you'd find who is mocking who. :D

I am just frustrated.

With this sort of governance, there is no way I'd lead a better life. And even my wife's gone. It seems only to tell those up there direct in the face by entering politics.

SPP would be able to dominate eventually if Mr Chiam can live up to 80yo, and still be clear-headed. And if luck is on my side and I can influence this platform around.

I am very sure Malaysia will start intervening Sinapore after MM's gone. If I give you an option to compete with all the fronts with Matilah, but also an option comes about when Matilah's head becomes weak, or instable... of course, once Malaysia realises it's much easier and efficient to disrupt Singapore politically, and with a lot of other things, the fight between PAP and WP will be significantly beneficial to SPP (if I am with SPP).

I doubt other than giving me bashings, PM would have anything to offer me. Besides, I can't work with leader with insufficient enlightenment level.

I know not PM is a good man or not, but I know he's quite stuck in the game. Frankly speaking, I very much doubt PAP would be my platform. Too snobbish for a start. I can't be always fighting office politics and end up as another Tian Feng...

For now, all the parties I'm keeping a distance. Of course... there's be menace to deal with as well. You know, the restaurant that gave my wife trouble got to be serving the Lunar New Year gathering at our side... Umm... Is the minister, or the grassroot bosses, or both trying to be naughty...

Whatever, I suppose you are too concern with your money-making project here than to be bothered for this.

PAP'd probably need more than strong will to about turn...

redbean said...


let me be the fortune teller and crystal ball your future. at the moment you have been stripped of everything. you find yourself heading nowhere. all the roads are blocked.

now you are facing a wall, a very high wall. either you scale the wall or you fall and break your legs. or you can do nothing and be stuck under the wall, facing the wall.

Elfred said...

Nay... There are two other possibilities:
1. The walls crumbling itself;
2. The walls transform itself into doors.

Scaling a crumbling wall is nothing to be happy about. There is, of course, a third option: try other obstacle courses.

All the roads are blocked... lemme use a SM Goh's manner of discription/illustration: If the good elements got stuck, it'd be as if the blood got clotted and heart cannot function and eventually the body suffers a slow but sure death...

At least, Reddie, we confront the reality of Singapore which the top constantly denies. Land Of Opportunities... say that again... :D

Saying too much of such hollow things, credibility would be exhausted.

Elfred said...

SM Goh illustrated the bloody clot thingy when he's touching on a transport issue. Think it's with regards to COE or what. I just borrowed it, that's all.

redbean said...


there are many variables or options. the most important is to get out of the situation you are stuck in. now is how fast you get unstuck.

Elfred said...

Later if any number matches the toto results, I'd be unstucked. :D

Or maybe when one day I decide to make boot-licking my career... Then I'd promote more ways of polishing boots in Singapore.

Everyone has their more appropriate place in the world. Only when such timing or luck or what that they got to their places, they got unstucked. Look at Dr Chee... He entered politics with all ambition and almost too much confidence...

If I were him, I'd go on teaching and getting the fat cheque... then vote accordingly as desired.

Politics... ambitious is ok, but you have to backed up by the talents/potential.

If I get lucky enough, I'd be able to leave this year. Me now go see toto results... :D $100,000 I happy liao, no need S$2m. :D

The most important thing is when I get unstuck, I'm ready for action. See?

redbean said...

wish you luck elfred.

shi ji wei dao, just wait. unless you want to create your own opportunities. zhi ji ta tian xia.

Elfred said...

Quite true. But this is definitely a good time if I can have more politically abled/talented people. All the parties are critically short of good people and hiding their heads in the sand about it. It always signal huge weakness, a vacuum to be exact, that'd ripe in a couple of years.

Which is why I am hoping to engage really good politician-materials, get together, draw more people, and it'd be our era. Mr Chiam is not ready. I doubt WP is too stuck in clearing their political direction, SDP is all style but lack of solid. PAP is too fatty and laden with problems.

I'd need people proper enough with either resource and motivation to complete with my political core if there is no existing platform available. I am staring at weak GRCs and can't do anything. I am looking at a weak political state and I can't do anything. How ironic... Singapore's future hence end up in the likes of politician-wannabes...

The first GRC is important as a base in a power struggle. Without power, you can do nothing, unless you wanna sleep through in parliament for some new experience to tell your kid. :D

Elfred said...

Look out for me of whom I need, Reddie.

With the proper hands, we can shape a better future.

redbean said...

to contest this general election, like i said to mengseng, only 20 good men. if one is unable to convince 20 good men to stand, then when is the leadership?

this is a contest of good decent men. and good decent men need to be led by a good decent leader and will answer the call of a good leader. it is a bit risky to grab anything that comes along. you just do not know what comes in.